poverty, as measured by the proportion of children under
15 years of age living in families at or below the poverty
for use of indicator
depend on their parents for economic support, and if
their parents incomes are not sufficient, the children
are both at risk and unlikely to have adequate access
poverty is on the one hand an indicator of high risk
for health problems, risks that may vary by age. For
the youngest, these risks include inadequate nutrition,
child care and health care as well as exposure to trauma
and environmental toxins. For older children, the risks
relate to health, school success, lack of opportunity,
and juvenile crime.
poverty is on the other hand an indicator of a low ability
to address these risks. Children in these circumstances
are more likely to have untreated health conditions
because of a lack of access to care. When they and their
parents seek care for their problems, they often must
turn to the hospital emergency room, which does not
provide continuity or preventive care.
children in this group are eligible for the WIC program,
reduced-price school meals, and Medicaid benefits although
the coverage of children is much more limited than it
is for older persons.
from 1995 Population Estimates of Poverty, U.S. Census.
data denominator from U.S. Census 1995 Population Estimates.
at Risk. The indicators. [Web Page]; http://www.childrenatrisk.org/the_indicators.html.
[Accessed 19 Jul 1999].
of Medicine. 1997. Improving health in the community:
A role for performance monitoring. Washington, D.C.:
Academy Press. National Center for Health Statistics.
Health status indicators: Definitions and national data.
Healthy People 2000 Statistical Notes 1992;1(3):1-8.